Given below are the results of a poll conducted on the Minonk Talk web site during the time period from January 28 through February 2, 2002.
Question Yes No
"Do you think the Dollar General Store should be built in the Minonk city parking lot?" 15% 85%
About 65% of the respondents entered comments. They are published below with the comments for the Yes votes first followed by the comments of the No votes. All of the Yes comments are published. However, some of the No comments are not being published because they could be considered defamatory to certain individuals. The comments have not been edited for spelling or grammar.

Summary of comments

Most respondents felt that the Dollar General Store should come to Minonk but would like to see it located in a spot other than the city parking lot. But some respondents were against the store even locating in Minonk because they feel that it is a junk store which will not add any benefit to the community. The reasons cited by the respondents for not wanting Dollar General to build in the city parking lot can be summarized as follows:
  • The parking space is too valuable an asset to give up for a store. Minonk needs as many parking spaces as possible. Losing parking spaces is not good for other businesses.
  • The store would not fit in with the rest of the downtown architecture. Many cited complaints about the cheap look of the storefront.
  • People do not like the idea of giving land away to a business, especially since other businesses must buy their land from the city.
  • There are plenty of empty buildings and empty lots in downtown Minonk where the store can be built.
  • The parking lot has been used for community events like carnivals and parades and that would be lost if Dollar General is built in the parking lot.
  • The respondents felt that the public should have some say in this decision. Some were upset that the council made this decision in closed session without any public input.

Comments from Yes respondents

When the City Council began planning to bring new businesses to downtown, that side of the street was in the plan. At one time they were hoping to move the grocery store over there, or possible put a hardware store there. Now that we have a business willing to come to town everyone is up in arms. This happens every time! It angers me that the same people criticize these decisions, but can't take the time to attend the meetings when these things are discussed at length. What's going to happen is that Dollar General will get the opinion that they are not welcome in Minonk because of these few people who complain and say "No thanks". Then we will be right back where we started with these same people saying "Why can't Minonk grow like other towns.." Enought already
While I don;t think its quite fair to the other business people around town....I am selfish here because I love the Dollar store and then I won;t have to go to Pontiac to get to one. I also think it will actaully draw people more to the grocery store. We need that for sure. People,. myself included will still go to Pontiac or Bloomington, but it will be less I beleive. I know that will be the case for if we could just get Wal_Mart out on 39!
Why not?
It's just a parking lot! A nice parking lot, but just a parking lot! Thing's change, lets move on! Thank's
I am looking forward to having the Dollar General in Minonk! It's about time Minonk gets some new business in town.
I think it would be great for the community and economy.
I am not crazy about it being in the parking lot. But if that is what it takes to get the store here then I am all for it.

Comments from No respondents

I'm sure that the city council has a list of available buildings in the down town area. Perhaps they could work with the representatives of the Dollar General Store in finding an available building and try to assist in making the property attractive to the company.
It will limit the parking to much. All the parking space is needed. Think about homecoming, the christmas parade and any other time there is no place to park. That will be an every day thing.
The city has a billboard on I39 that says we have a "uniqe" city. Why in the world should we "give" Dollar General a part of our parking lot. Next because of fewer parking spaces, we put a 2 hour limit on parking. Where should we park so we can go to the new store?? It appears that some one is NOT thinking all to well.
The property was "gifted" to the city for the sole purpose of a combined parking lot and city beautification including a park. Past permission was given to plant beautification trees. a portion of State and Federal Funds were used (via Minonk Motor Fuel Tax Fund). Prior to that, a portion of the road included in the City Park was paid by the WPA. This is not fair to the Taxpayers of Minonk to give away land without a vote of every voting citizen in a special election.
In the first place, who are the IDIOTS who GAVE the Dollar General Store the property and WHY? Something is wrong with this picture. And why would the Dollar General store even want to loacate in Minonk? And now the city administrator and/or city council is trying to make a 2 hour limit on the parking lot and force employees of established businesses to park a block or two away? You people are nuts!!!!!!! I hope the citizens are at the next city council meeting in force. This has gone way too far.
If they do, they should have to buy it like everyone else would.
I am no longer a Minonk resident. I was raised at Minonk, attending all 12 years of school there. I now live near Toluca, but come to Minonk regularly to visit family and friends and also to conduct business. Obviously, I still have feelings for Minonk, or I wouldn't be following this website and responding to this survey. I can't believe anybody in Minonk would want any buildings erected in that parking lot. First of all, valuable parking space would be lost. Also a pleasant view from the west side of main street would then be obstructed with a large building. I don't doubt that Minonk needs to attract new business, but it seems to me that there is a lot of real estate in Minonk that would make a better home for a store. With all the controversy, I would think that the Dollar General Store would want a different location. They are going to need the support of the entire community. They can ill afford to lose the support of those who oppose the location of the store.
Another bonehead idea from the city council. Since when did the city give away prime downtown property, and why was I not notified. There are several other locations where this store could have been located, not in an already developed parking lot. You would think Minonk was getting a Walmart the way they are kissing up these people. The city has land out in the new addition for sale and they are giving away the parking lot. It sounds crazy to me.
The City Council should develope a long term plan for the business district. Selecting a community committee working along with the council to get imput from the entire community.
There are many more appropriate places to build that would not take away from the parking spaces we have.
Where will all the business people who park there now business CUSTOMER spaces?
A Dollar General Store would only cheapen the the looks of the main street in Minonk, especially by putting it in the parking lot. Let's preserve the integrity of our business district and keep it supplied with ample parking. The spot chosen for the Dollar General is not ideal. Let's go back to the drawing board and pick another location.
Dollar General is welcome to conduct business in Minonk. However, the location is entirely inappropriate. The downtown area should be preserved, and should remain free of aluminum - sided buildings (a la Caseys style). Not only will the Dollar General building detract from the beauty and charm of the downtown area, it will also consume valuable downtown parking. It is unfortunate that a deal could not have been made to locate the Dollar General store in the old Green Tree pharmacy building. The location is perfect, there is plenty of store space, and a parking lot already exists. In summary, another location needs to be identified.
Plenty of MT buildings available. Parking is a key "plus" when people decide to go to another town to shop. Or build the new bldg in a less strategic area of City property.
There is not enough parking as it is!
Why clutter the street with buildings with #1.00 store values
Not with so many empty business places already on main street and immediate area...
The city parking lot is for the citizens to use for when they frequent the stores on main street. If Dollar General wants to come in to Minonk, they should go into the spot where IGA is and IGA should go to where CVS Pharmacy was. That parking lot has been used for many functions that are held on main street. Where would everyone park durning those functions in coming years? They would have to park up and down all the side streets and having to walk blocks back uptown is not a convenient answer. I for one would not like to see Dollar General sitting in the middle of main street. It's not an attractive store, so why should it get a prime location?
I was very disappointed they plan to use the really nice parking lot. It was so well done with trees. Now a very large Morton type building will be marring the view going down Chestnut Street. I am also not thrilled with getting a Dollar General. A hardware store would be preferable.
Minonk's city parking lot should remain as it is. Many communities would love to have an area adjacent to its main business district for customer parking. The city council should be urged to rescind their short sighted decision.
Shame- shame- shame. For giving the Dollar General Store property while an established Minonk businesses have to buy property when they want to build. And now you are talking about taking unrestricted parking away from employees of downtown businesses? Get your priorities straight !
How do I go about getting on this Gravy Train??? I want free land, too! And I want prime location, and I want a certain amount of parking lots designated just for my business, and the list of wants could go on forever...And all I have to do is open a store with cheap merchandise, which has to be sold for a cheap price. What a deal!!
Just when was this decision to give the town away, piece by piece, made? Was it made public knowledge that this was on the agenda? Was the vote made in closed session? The "Powers That Be" were elected by US to act with our best interests in mind. Perhaps you should give us that opportunity. You know the old saying about ignorance is bliss--well, don't assume that we are happy about this.
One of the things I so enjoy about Minonk is the community gathering in the parking lot during July 4th celebrations, homecoming parades, Christmas parades, etc. This is the exact small town thing that cities don't have, and wish they did. It's that chance to visit with your friends and neighbors and to exchange pleasantries.Don't allow this tradition to be destroyed! No matter the price, it's is too high. Considering the fact that the city gave the land away, they place no value on tradition. It's all about the dollar, isn't it? What do we sell down the river next, in the name of progress??
The Dollar General Store should have to buy property just like anyone else. I suggest in the next block North, it would be a much better place for the store.
I think dollar general should either find a vacant exsisting building in Minonk or possibly locate on the curve north of minonk. The parking lot isn't all that big as it is and I don't understand where patrons of the store and other downtown businesses would park if the store takes up the whole corner!
Use one of the vacant buildings downtown.
Why put such an ugly tin building in a beautiful parking lot. That lot is an asset to the downtown. Why does the General Store need a new building when there are so many existing empty ones? I think it's a dictatorship when only a few decide something this important without taking a poll. The current council members should be ashamed of themselves but of course, they think they have the right to make decisions for everyone! A very disgusted citizen
Ridiculous!! El Paso is getting a Dollar General Store and its location is not in some oversized parking lot. Besides if Minonk wants 2-hour parking - who is going to enforce it - where are the police to enforce stop sign runners, U-turns in the middle of Chestnut Street, parking illegially, etc?
I think it should be built by community volunteers,that way it would be investment free for DGS! Oh, by the way I am too busy to volunteer beings that I`m working overtime to pay realestate taxes on land I didn`t have given to me!
Bad waste of a good space
Seems like a waste of parking space. Why not utilize one of the old main street buildings? Or better yet, why not tear one of them down to make room for a new building. Then there is always the railroad right of way area. What is to be gained by taking up parking spaces?
The parking lot is the asset that can keep the grocery and other downtown bussiness thriving. Customers will not waste time looking for parking. Did the city give the parking lot away so they can make someone money reselling it like the original caroline development?
I think it is ridiculous that the city would even consider putting a building in that parking lot. Minonk has many unused building uptown and as a community we cannot afford to make such abrupt decisions about such a major subject without considering what the people of Minonk think. As a young person, I am concerned about the future of Minonk, and it's appearance. The buisnessmen and others in Minonk have worked very hard to make the appearance of the buildings uptown look nice and "old fashioned". I am assuming that this new store will have a gaudy yellow front like other dollar generals. I think having the store would be great for the community, but not in that place. I personally think they should build it in one of the lots out by the Shell station where it would attract more customers from surrounding towns. It honestly makes me sick to think of a building in that parking lot which is used to its fullest every day by people that work uptown. The city council should have thought more
The parking lot belongs to the people of Minonk. It is (Public Property) The public should of had a say in the matter.
First the parking lot is given away free. Now the proposed 2 hour parking limit seems to make the parking lot more valuable than ever. What next, parking meters with meter maids to recoup our losses.?
There are plenty of empty builing uptown already. Why build another one to possibly be abandoned down the road?
I could understand it if there were no other places to go. However we have many other suitable sites, both with existing buildings and not, that would work. I think that the lack of direction of our city government and limited "life experiences" of same prevent proper negotiaions from taking place.
Any new business in Minonk is good and should probably be located near downtown, but not in the only parking lot. Furthermore, Dollar General stores are not exactly big-name department stores or an outlet franchise. The goods they sell are inexpensive, thus excluding 'big-ticket' items. Overall, this could improve the cash flow downtown, but what does it do for the image of Minonk? The couple blocks of Minonk that make up the 'downtown' area charactrize the city and leave visitors with a lasting impression. If visitors see a large, open lot with ample spaces and nice landscaping, they will leave Minonk with a good impression. However, if visitors have to park in the alley next to the tavern, and walk downtown so they can spend their money on inexpensive Dollar Store junk, they will leave Minonk thinking, "What a dump!"
I think it is a travesty to destroy a major portion of the existing parking lot.
Why not put it in one of the buildings what empty up town.
Why should we give them any land. That is the people of Minonk tax money. No one gave me the lot for my house.
Minonk merchants should be up in arms. A store in the proposed location will reduce existing parking spaces, yet require more for Dollar's customers. No high volume store would want to move into an existing building across the street because of limited parking. There are other sites as on Oak Street. Let's not make a mistake and clutter up the downtown area. Please! Please! Plan!
Of all the things that Minonk may need, a Dollar General Store is not one of them. The city should support entrepreneurship rather than the addition of a junk store.
Will destroy a unique setting while not offering a great benefit to the economy of the community.
Try to utilize already exiting buildings or build on a vacant lot in a less congested area.
We don t have enough parking space now. I think it will spoil the looks of the downtown area
There is no need for such a store. What we need is a drug store,hardware store.
The site would take up our nice parking lot. With quite a few empty buildings around and other property (carolyn dev) why can't they build out there?
I agree that Minonk should revamp it's Victorian storefronts. And I have really enjoyed what has been done thusfar.
Don't we have enough empty buildings already? In a year or two, this will be just another metal shed that will be abandoned due to a lack of business. Do the people that are encouraging this fiasco really think people will shop here by droves? Maybe the city council will be there main source of revenue-a dollar at a time!
Talk about an eyesore! Right in the middle of the town! Anything the town ever had of signifigance, like the old depot, the bandstand in the park, etc. the wise ones who lead the town chose to eliminate rather than preserve. Restore the buildings we have and bring beauty back, rather than erecting junk buildings with no value other than to house and store cheap merchandise!
One of the most precious things a vibrant business community can offer is plenty of good parking space.
It doen't make sense to take away a parking lot to replace it with a business that will need additional parking....but we definately need more businesses